The Monaco Grand Prix is the jewel in Formula 1’s crown.
Tucked away on the picturesque Cote d’Azur, the Principality’s tortuous, barrier-lined streets provide some of the greatest challenges on the F1 calendar; it’s the race that every driver wants to win.
“Obviously, I’ve never driven a turbocharged F1 car around Monaco before – and I’m relishing the opportunity.
“More than any other 2014 race, I think this event will show us the most pronounced difference between ‘old F1’ and the new formula we have. There’s far less of an aerodynamic influence here – it’s just about bolting as much to the car as possible in a bid to find grip – so I think the engine’s influence will be greater.
“So, with less significance placed on aerodynamics, I hope we can enjoy a better race than our two previous outings in China and Spain. Monaco is such a special case – in every respect – I just hope we can string together a good weekend: we’ll need to get the absolute maximum from the car in qualifying and on the first lap to be in with a chance to put up a fair showing.
“I’m up for the challenge, and the whole team is doing a great job of staying strong and working flat-out to bring updates to every race – and Monaco is no exception.”
“It’s strange to come away from a grand prix having finished 12th and feel satisfied with my performance. But the Barcelona weekend taught me quite a lot about managing and setting my expectations, and, more importantly, it gave me the best opportunity so far this year to really get to grips with the MP4-29. And, had I not had that quali problem, I’m certain I’d have scored points.
“I’m happier with the car, not just in terms of my own driving, but also with the way I work with my engineers to set it up. We haven’t totally cracked it, but things are going in the right direction.
“My [World Series] race in Monaco last year was a bit of a missed opportunity – I didn’t hook it all together and ended up finishing only fourth – so, more than anything, I want to have a clean and constructive race this weekend. We don’t have the pace in the car to challenge at the front, but, wherever I am, I’m determined to make a fight of it.”
Racing director, McLaren Mercedes
“The last three race weekends have been difficult for us, but the entire team is working flat-out to improve things.
“Although our drivers are coming at it from different angles – Jenson is a past winner, Kevin is making his Monaco debut – both are keen to see what they can do this weekend. Monaco is always a bit of a one-off, a racetrack on which you can sometimes achieve more than you can on more conventional circuits. As in its famous casino, you can sometimes collect if you play your luck.
“Of course, we’ll be relying on a little more than luck this weekend! One of the keys to getting a result at Monaco is the good work that goes on in the garage and the engineering truck. Regardless of our track performance, our mechanics have never tired in their bid to ensure our cars are well built, reliable and looking immaculate. Equally, our engineers and strategists have worked relentlessly to make sure that every ounce of performance makes it to the track.
“Monaco has its own unique demands in terms of car performance, too. Obviously, we’ll be bringing a track-specific package to this race – and to Canada too – but, at the moment, we’re not targeting any particular race as the start of an overall turnaround. We’re simply working hard to deliver iterative improvements to the car – we’re confident in that process, and hope it will start to reap dividends in the future.”